KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — With nearly half of its season already in the books, a water park in Kansas has been forced to delay the opening of the world's tallest water slide for the third time and hasn't set a new date for its debut.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City announced Thursday that Verruckt, a 17-story, 168-foot-tall water slide, would not open on Sunday as scheduled. The park's news release did not give a reason for the latest delay, although earlier this week two media sneak preview days were canceled because of problems with a conveyor system that hauls 100-pound rafts to the top of the slide.
Verruckt, which means "insane" in German, was certified as the world's tallest water slide in April by Guinness World Records. The slide sends riders on four-person rafts plummeting at 60 mph to 70 mph.
The ride's initial opening date was moved from May 23 to June 5 to allow for more testing, then pushed back again to June 29. Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio said earlier this week that park officials would not hesitate to delay operation again for however long it takes to make sure the slide is safe.
"We'll take embarrassment before putting someone in the slide when it is not ready," she said.
In a news article linked to the news release announcing the latest delay, Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry told USA Today that he and senior designer John Schooley had based their calculations when designing the slide on roller coasters, but that didn't translate well to a water slide like Verruckt.
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